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School has a reputation for being quite competitive and according to the prospectus ‘endeavour and success are held in the highest regard’ however, the number one Golden Rule is, ‘Do be kind, gentle, helpful, respectful and polite’ and there is great emphasis on good manners, tolerance and friendliness.  ‘The teachers seem interested in developing my child as a human being not just on an academic level,’ said one happy parent. Sport taken seriously and the school likes to win...

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What the school says...

Welcome to Junior Kings School, Canterbury. We were founded in 1879 as the preparatory school to The Kings School Canterbury. In 1929 the School expanded to a stunning eighty-acre countryside location at Milner Court, Sturry, conveniently located just two miles from the city. The 16th century Manor House has been augmented by superb educational, boarding, extra-curricular and sporting facilities.

The majority of pupils move on at 13 to Kings. We are similarly proud of our leavers each year who gain scholarships at other leading public schools. We would be delighted to meet you at our next open morning or you can contact us arrange an individual tour.
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What the parents say...

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All-through school (for example 3-18 years). - An all-through school covers junior and senior education. It may start at 3 or 4, or later, and continue through to 16 or 18. Some all-through schools set exams at 11 or 13 that pupils must pass to move on.




What The Good Schools Guide says


Since September 2017, Emma Károlyi, previously deputy head and director of studies at Loretto. She has a degree in classical studies and ancient history from St Andrews, is married to Julian, also a teacher, and they have two children. A keen viola player, she hopes to get involved in music and orchestras in Canterbury.


Most join in nursery and reception but major intakes into year 5 and year 7 when extra classes are added and occasionally into year 8 for CE if trying for King’s. Younger children have a taster day and informal assessments; from year 5 children tested in English, maths and non-verbal reasoning.

Means-tested bursaries available from year 7 for up to 100 per cent of the boarding fee. Academic scholarships offered at 11+ for new joiners and children already in the school – worth a max of five per cent of fees. Additional bursary support available.


About 85 per cent go on to King’s Canterbury. Others to eg Benenden, Eastbourne College and St Edmunds. A few leave for the grammar schools at 11+ – some after-school coaching provided but parents usually get their own as well. Scholarships to King’s Canterbury every year. Those considered borderline for King’s required to sit a pre-test and parents are given plenty of advice if it is thought a child might not pass common entrance to their chosen school.

Our view

Founded in 1879 as the prep school for The King’s School, Canterbury and spent its first 50 years in the precincts of the cathedral. Boys were known as ‘parrots’ because of the noise they made and houses are still named after parrots. Moved to current site in 1929 when Lady Milner gave Sturry Court, an Elizabethan manor house, together with the Tithe Barn, in memory of her husband. It was opened by their friend Rudyard Kipling. Two miles from the centre of Canterbury, it is set in 80 acres of grounds and playing fields with the River Stour running through the middle.

Has a reputation for being quite competitive and according to the prospectus ‘endeavour and success are held in the highest regard’; however, the number one golden rule is ‘Do be kind, gentle, helpful, respectful and polite’ and there is great emphasis on good manners, tolerance and friendliness. Parents full of praise for the school: ‘My children are all very different and have all been happy – you don’t have to be very sporty to have fun here’. ‘The competitive environment has brought my daughter out of herself and given her confidence.’ All agree that this school is ‘best for children who are good at something’ and that ‘there is a very nice balance between academia and other things so children can build confidence in different areas’.

Strong Christian tradition with weekday and Sunday services at the village church and confirmation and carol services in the cathedral but all faiths made to feel welcome. Full-time and weekly boarders (mainly from year 6+) cared for in two immaculate houses: Kipling (boys) and Juckes (girls). Local children often ask to board for the last year and one mother commented slightly wistfully, ‘my daughter wants to be at school more than she wants to be at home’. Lots of evening and weekend activities plus Saturday school with lessons in the morning and sport in the afternoon means there is no time to get bored or homesick.

Relationships with staff relaxed but respectful and there is always someone to talk to – year 5 upwards have two class teachers, one male, one female. ‘The teachers seem interested in developing my child as a human being not just on an academic level,’ said one happy parent. Bullying rare and dealt with swiftly via detailed anti-bullying policy.

School supports a variety of charitable causes and all children expected to be involved at some stage during the year – sponsored walks, donations to Salvation Army, the school fête, visiting old peoples’ homes etc. They share their sports facilities and theatre with local groups; school is keen be part of the local community. Junior King’s provides funds for a school in Malawi and children are encouraged to take an interest.

Average class size 15-16, max 18. Three parallel forms with setting in maths from year 5, English and languages from year 6 and science in year 8. Separate year 8 scholarship class. French from reception, Spanish and Latin from year 5. Greek offered to scholars. Special provision for French, Spanish and Chinese bilingual children. Separate sciences taught in specialist laboratories from year 7. Children learn IT programming skills eg making computer games as well as spread sheets, presentations and website design. ‘Everyone is expected to participate in class and it is a fast-paced academic school which does not suit everyone’. Very occasionally, it is suggested tactfully that a child might do better elsewhere.

Bright, sunny library central to main school with 14,000 books and run by a part-time librarian – the most widely-read children are appointed to The Most Honourable Order of the Book. Experienced staff of ‘inspiring and dedicated teachers’ as well as talented young graduate assistants who come to work for a year before going to train as teachers. Much more attention given to SEN in recent years, about 10 per cent with some sort of learning support, either withdrawal or in-class help – system of monitoring and referrals means problems picked up early. Two dyslexia teachers, one full-time, one part-time plus a graphologist. EAL support if required.

Sport taken seriously and the school likes to win. Superb facilities, here and at King's. Rowing an option from year 7 plus a cricket pro and winter coaching and squash offered at King’s. Floodlit Astro (funded by a parent) means hockey now a major sport for boys and girls. Girls have been IAPS champions three times in recent years. Huge galleried sports hall and 14 tennis courts. LTA tennis coach recently appointed and school usually sends a team to the national IAPS tournament at Queenswood. Heated outdoor pool for fun but serious swimming taught at the King’s recreation centre. Fencing particularly strong and a number of international fencers started at Junior King’s. Inter-house competitions give everyone a chance to take part and new talents often emerge at the summer sports day when a huge variety of sports are contested.

Performing arts take place in the Tithe Barn. Music is central; over 60 per cent learn at least one instrument and the choir is a special part of school life. Range of bands, choirs and ensembles cater for every age and ability and with at least one big concert each term, ‘music is never far from your ears.’ Advent carol service and sung evensong at the end of the summer term are held in the cathedral and there are music scholarships to King’s senior most years. Drama part of the curriculum from year 3 and just about everyone has a chance to get up on stage at least once a year.

Busy art department – photography, film making, art history, graphic design, pottery, textiles – the sort of opportunities you would expect to find at a senior school and children can use the facilities at King’s as well. DT from year 3 includes racing car design when children build and race a car in the Kent championships, jewellery making and T shirt design and a Dragons' Den type competition when children form teams to solve problems.

Annual Spanish exchange, skiing, weekend in Normandy, post-scholarship trip to Greece, the much looked forward to post-CE jaunt to Cornwall, rugby to Paris, hockey to Holland, cricket and choir tours to Brussels – European destinations which do not put too much strain on parental pockets.

Activities most afternoons and evenings, dozens to choose from (some charged for), everything from animation, circus skills and bushcraft to debating, gardening, jazz dance, riding and photography (digital and dark room).

Pre-prep housed in the Oast House with own hall and library. Seven classrooms with up-to-date ICT provide a colourful and stimulating environment. Children learn PE, French, dance and music from reception onwards and use the prep school facilities – sports hall, Tithe Barn, sports fields and dining hall. Accredited forest school in the grounds where children were making nettle pancakes over a camp fire on the day we visited. Nursery now housed in newly built Swiss-style chalet known as Little Barn with all the mod cons and under floor heating – a busy, happy place with guinea pigs and fish tanks.

Day children from up to 40 minutes away via minibus service or accompanied train from Ashford. Most from professional families – doctors, medics, lawyers and City and creative types. About 45 per cent of boarders are foreign nationals from a variety of countries; strong links with Brussels and the Foreign Office – many parents choose the school for its global outlook. Active Friends' Association has weekly breakfasts and organises social events such as hog roast and Christmas bazaar to raise money eg funded the new adventure playground.

Alumni include: former Olympics minister Hugh Robertson, actor Orlando Bloom, Commonwealth Games president Tunku Imran Ja’affar, ceramicist Edmund de Waal and cricketer Freddie Kemp.

Special Education Needs


Condition Provision for in school
ASD - Autistic Spectrum Disorder Y
Aspergers Y
Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorders Y
CReSTeD registered for Dyslexia
English as an additional language (EAL)
Has an entry in the Autism Services Directory
Has SEN unit or class Y
HI - Hearing Impairment
Hospital School
Mental health
MLD - Moderate Learning Difficulty
MSI - Multi-Sensory Impairment
Natspec Specialist Colleges
OTH - Other Difficulty/Disability
Other SpLD - Specific Learning Difficulty
PD - Physical Disability
PMLD - Profound and Multiple Learning Difficulty
SEMH - Social, Emotional and Mental Health
SLCN - Speech, Language and Communication
SLD - Severe Learning Difficulty
Special facilities for Visually Impaired
SpLD - Specific Learning Difficulty
VI - Visual Impairment

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